Moments Before Night Swimming
Resting, belly up, body submerged in cooling lake-water—
Baptism? Redemption? No. Nothing shifts inside.
There, up, in the sky, is the change.
I stare up at a shifting blue void.
The sun closes shop; calls to the night.
Wind sweeps all the salmon fire-clouds in;
all wearing the badge of the late afternoon;
all tinged with the ethereal flame the low sun,
propelled by some transcendent motor—
Look, see the rocks skip from shore,
see the children scream, see
parents pack up minivans with folding chairs
Look, back to the sky. Think,
It’s as if the sheets and layers have been peeled
like a fruit! This is a crimson pomegranate
I see the vulnerable belly, the soft inside of fading twilight;
I am diving, I am surfacing, I am gulping in bursts,
tasting the plum sweet summer juice of the not-quite-night wind;
I surface again. Dark has come,
as sudden as a shot. Dark
has piled up. Dark; underwater.
Dark; in the sky. Little pricks of
stars pop up, cut the dark.
I swim. In the night,
through the night,
around the night,
I become the night,
in the water, swimming with the night.